If you are like me, focusing on school this quarter has been super difficult so far. Procrastination has been the easiest thing to do especially when stuck in the house all day. The readings, assignments, and discussions are seemingly endless. Without being able to go out and do activities due to COVID-19, it is easier than ever to continuously put off work because there is always later.
Online school is fun and safe. There have been improvements made by using Zoom calls to bring a more classroom setting to students at home. But it is hard to be attentive to readings and lectures. To help others and myself, I made this list of hacks to help students focus on online school.
Put Your Phone Away
Put the phone as far away from you as possible. Setting your phone out of reach or in another room can stop the constant notifications from distracting you or scrolling through social media. The constant distraction is not good for completing school work.
Create a Learning Space
Most of us probably are just using your desk in your room, I am. But if you do not have a desk, don’t use your bed or anything that you usually do other activities on such as watching TV. Find a place that you uniquely use for homework so you will be comfortable only using that space for homework.
Take Handwritten Notes
While this may take a bit more time, it gives your eyes a break from staring at the computer screen. I liked to write down my notes because then I have something to look at during my open note quizzes instead of endlessly clicking through tabs to find the PowerPoints or lectures. It can also help solidify your knowledge by having that repetition of writing it down.
Set a Timer
Oh my goodness! I cannot stress how helpful this is. Setting a timer for study times, especially when reading your textbook is so helpful. I usually do about 45 minutes of studying and then 15 minutes of a break. It helps break-up time. Scheduled breaks help clear the brain after a good long time of struggling.
Use a Planner
Using a planner is so important. Not only does it help organize the day, but it can also save time. Sitting down and writing down what needs to be done for the week for ten minutes, in the beginning, saves more time than waking up every morning and taking five minutes to reach class to gather the day’s homework. It will also help you see which projects or tests are coming up, so you are not surprised. Planning can help provide structure when we lack structure in asynchronous courses. It’s a very cliché trick, but that is because it works.
Take a Walk
COVID-19 has made a good excuse for people to stay inside. Getting outside is rare. The COVID-19 walks that used to be commonplace are dying out. It is important for students to be getting exercise and going outside for some Vitamin D. Taking a walk around your neighborhood or doing a few quick exercises can help students focus. It will help to get out and stop looking at the screens. I find that when I go out for a walk and return to do homework, I can focus so much more.
Keep Snacks and Water Nearby
While getting up and away from your computer is great, getting up too much can also cause distractions. Eliminate one of those distractions by having healthy, protein-filled snacks nearby. A tall glass of water also keeps you hydrated. Try not to have sweets or candy because that can lead to a sugar crash.
Being in school with COVID-19 preventing most in-person courses has made school more difficult for some people, while others thrive in this environment. These simple yet powerful tips are dedicated to all students who are struggling with remaining focused or staying engaged in online courses. Hopefully, these tips come in handy or serve as a reminder to stay on top of your game this quarter!